Classic Pumpkin Scones

You can find the most delicious recipe for classic pumpkin scones right here! Super flaky and perfectly spiced, these scones are your new favorite fall treat.

Delicious and flaky pumpkin scones with maple icing! The best pumpkin spice fall breakfast! Easy scone recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I always feel a jolt of excitement and satisfaction when I crack open that first can of pumpkin each Fall season. And pumpkin scones are definitely what we should all make first!

For pumpkin breakfast, we’ve done pumpkin crumb cake, pumpkin cheesecake muffins, pumpkin cinnamon rollspumpkin crumb muffins, pumpkin coffee creamer, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pancakes, and a “skinny” frozen pumpkin coffee treat! There’s always room for more pumpkin at the breakfast table and pumpkin scones have been on my baking bucket list for years. Truth is, I’ve been nervous to attempt them because pumpkin scones from the bakery are just so good. I was also wary that I wouldn’t get the texture right, but after a couple tries, I produced what I believe to be the best pumpkin scones on the planet. Of course that’s just my opinion, but my taste testers loved them.

And I have a feeling you’ll be quick to agree!

Delicious and flaky pumpkin scones with maple icing! The best pumpkin spice fall breakfast! Easy scone recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

These Pumpkin Scones are:

  • quick and simple if you follow the recipe closely
  • not overly sweet
  • tender and flaky in the center
  • crumbly on the corners
  • crispy on top
  • buttery
  • perfectly pumpkin-spiced
  • topped with maple icing
  • autumn in a triangle ♥

We’re basically making my favorite scones recipe, but pumpkin flavored. 🙂

Delicious and flaky pumpkin scones with maple icing! The best pumpkin spice fall breakfast! Easy scone recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Success Tips for Pumpkin Scones

I’ve shared these scone tips before, but it’s important to read over them before you begin. There are many little quirks to these pumpkin scones that make them the best!

  1. Heavy cream makes a delicious pumpkin scone. Buttermilk does too! Avoid substituting another dairy or even nondairy milk. You’ll lose a lot of flavor and texture.
  2. Use frozen butter. Like pie crust, it’s best to use cold butter in scone dough. You’ll work the cold butter into the dry ingredients so that it coats the flour and creates crumbs. When the little butter/flour crumbs melt as the scones bake, they release steam and create little pockets of air. These pockets create a flaky and airy center, while keeping the edges crumbly and crisp. Refrigerated butter might melt in the dough as you work with it, but frozen butter will hold out until the oven. It guarantees scone success.
  3. Grate the butter. Weird, right? The finer the pieces of cold butter, the easier they are to evenly mix into the dry ingredients. You can, of course, just cut the frozen butter with a sharp knife, but I like to begin with teeny butter shreds instead. See photo in my master scones recipe.
  4. Blot the pumpkin. Trust me on this. See this post!
  5. Don’t over mix the pumpkin scone dough. After you mix the cold butter into the dry ingredients, it’s time to add your wet ingredients. Mix everything together with ease. Like pie crust, overworking the dough will build up the gluten in the flour. This results in a tough and not-so-pleasant texture.
  6. And I swear by this: before baking, brush the scones with heavy cream or buttermilk, whichever you used in the dough. This layer of liquid sets on top of the scones and drizzles down the sides when they’re in the hot oven, creating an even crispier scone exterior.

pumpkin scone dough

pumpkin scone dough

Pumpkin Scones Dough

Cut frozen grated butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter.

Pumpkin scone dough will be crumbly. Those white specks are frozen butter, not white chocolate chips. Frozen butter is where all the texture comes from. See tip #2 above. But that’s not to say white chocolate chips can’t make an appearance today. 1 cup of white or regular chocolate chips, nuts, or even cinnamon chips fit right in here!

Work the scone dough with your hands, then shape into a disc and cut into triangles. Before baking, brush with a little heavy cream or buttermilk, then sprinkle with coarse sugar for an extra crunch– always my go-to when I prepare homemade scones!

pumpkin scones

Add Icing!

A drizzle or drench of maple glaze adds a satisfying finale to our pumpkin scones. Instead of maple, try brown butter icing or classic vanilla icing. It’s best to pour the glaze all over the pumpkin scones while they’re warm so it melts down into every flake, every crack, and every crevice. This means that each bite has a crumbly edge, a flaky center, pumpkin spice galore, and melty maple icing.

Yes this IS what heaven tastes like.

Delicious and flaky pumpkin scones with maple icing! The best pumpkin spice fall breakfast! Easy scone recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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pumpkin scones

Classic Pumpkin Scones

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 scones
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Deliciously spiced classic pumpkin scones are flaky and soft with perfectly crumbly edges. Top with coarse sugar for extra crunch and maple icing for extra decadence!


Ingredients

  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, frozen
  • 1/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons (105ml) heavy cream, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup (115g) canned pumpkin puree, blotted*
  • 1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • optional: coarse sugar for sprinkling on top before baking

Maple Glaze

  • 2 Tablespoons (30gunsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup (112g) sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • pinch salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Adjust baking rack to the middle-low position. Line 1 or 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mat(s). If making mini scones, I use 2 baking sheets. Set aside.
  2. Make the scones: Whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt together in a large bowl. Grate the frozen butter (I use a box grater). Add the grated butter to the flour mixture and combine it with a pastry cutter, a fork, or your fingers until the mixture comes together in pea-sized crumbs. Set aside.
  3. Whisk 1/3 cup (75ml) heavy cream, the egg, blotted pumpkin (see note), brown sugar, and vanilla extract together in a small bowl. Drizzle it over the flour mixture and then mix it all together until everything appears moistened.
  4. With floured hands, work the dough into a ball as best you can and transfer onto a floured work surface. Press into a neat 8-inch disc and, with a very sharp knife, cut into 8 equal wedges. To make smaller scones, press dough into two 5-inch discs and cut each into 8 equal wedges. (Larger scones are pictured in this blog post.)
  5. Place scones at least 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet(s). Using a pastry brush, brush scones with remaining heavy cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired. (Gives a nice crunch!)
  6. Bake the larger scones for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. If you made 16 smaller scones, bake for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes as you prepare the icing.
  7. Make the glaze: In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and maple syrup together, whisking occasionally. Once the butter has melted, remove from heat and whisk in the sifted confectioners’ sugar. Taste and add a pinch of salt if desired. Drizzle over warm scones.
  8. Scones are best enjoyed right away, though leftover scones keep well at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 2 extra days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: Plain baked scones freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then heat up to your liking before icing and enjoying.
  2. Special Tools: Glass Mixing Bowls | White Mixing Bowls | Measuring CupsPastry Cutter | Baking Sheet | Saucepan | Whisk | Cooling Rack | White Plate | Sprinkling Sugar
  3. Pumpkin Pie Spice: Instead of prepared pumpkin pie spice, you can use 1/2 teaspoon each: ground allspice and ground ginger AND 1/4 teaspoon each: ground nutmeg and ground cloves.
  4. Blotting Pumpkin: Using a paper towel or clean kitchen towel, lightly blot the pumpkin puree to remove some of the moisture before using in the recipe. The more moisture removed, the less moist and muffin-like the scones will taste. We want the scones to be flaky and crumbly, not super moist or muffin-like. I prefer to squeeze lots of moisture out so the scones taste textured and delicious. Do what you prefer!

184 Comments

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  1. I followed the recipe exactly (something I don’t usually do, but since this was the first time I was making pumpkin scones, I decided not to tinker with it!). If you like soft, cakey scones, this is a good recipe. I, however, like my scones much more biscuity. I knew that adding an egg and moist pumpkin (which I did blot, by the way, but perhaps should have squeezed) would make them cakier, so I wasn’t surprised. I would use salted butter next time and more spice, as the scones tasted a bit flat. I agree that just a drizzle of the glaze is enough, otherwise all you taste is the sweetness and not the pumpkin and spice. These taste better after they have cooled and sat awhile, and unlike biscuity scones, they’re ok to eat the next day.

  2. Vincenza Gruppuso says:

    Hi! I’m just about to put these together and want to use buttermilk. Did you add any baking soda or replace some of the baking powder with baking soda?

    1. Hi! No other changes necessary if using buttermilk in place of heavy cream.

      1. Vincenza Gruppuso says:

        Thank you!

  3. Sherry Obernberger says:

    Excellent!!! love everything about them!

  4. I made these with regular flour a few wks ago, but used Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flour today for a Celiac daughter in law. I was really pleased with the results! The texture today was *slightly* different than with regular flour, but probably not enough that anyone else would notice. I love being able to make homemade GF treats for her. Thanks Sally!

  5. Just made these. I cut the glaze recipe in half and it was perfect. These scones really did it for my husband and I. I also used winter squash in place of the pumpkin, which was perfect because it’s quite dry to begin with. I put the wet ingredients into a small bowl with the cooked squash chunks and then used the immersion blender on the whole mixture. It was perfectly smooth. I will probably skip the frozen butter grating next time because it seemed to waste a lot of the butter, which got stuck in the box grater. I think cutting in refrigerator cold butter with the pastry blender would do the job, but that’s my opinion. Thanks for a truly delicious and classy recipe Sally! All your recipes are fabulous

  6. These were great, and I appreciate that they were a bit lighter than a traditional cream scone. The texture was good (though I was very careful to blot my pumpkin extensively) and it had a lovely pumpkin spice flavor. Would definitely make these again.

    1. I’m so happy that you enjoyed these, Kali!

  7. So i totally freaked when I realized I had put these in the oven but forgotten to add the egg. Lucky for me I guess that they really didn’t need it – delish and that glaze is heavenly!

  8. Fantastic recipe! I never have buttermilk on hand but I used whole milk in the recipe instead and it still turned out fabulously. Thanks for this, Sally!

  9. I wonder if putting the pumpkin in a paper coffee filter inside of a sieve and letting it sit over a bowl in the refrigerator would work to remove enough moisture. What do you think?

    1. Should work like a charm!

  10. Can I make the dough the night before and leave in the fridge until I bake the next day? Will it change taste or texture? Thanks!

    1. Hi Angela, You can refrigerate the dough overnight before baking but they might not rise quite as much.

  11. I have been making so many of your recipes during quarantine and this was what I decided to bake this morning. They are absolutely delicious! I added the turbinado sugar before baking the scones and then decided to make a basic cinnamon glaze (because I do not have maple syrup right now… sigh, grocery shopping is tricky right now). Turns out the cinnamon glaze was a delicious addition! The scones came out crispy on the tops and cake-y in the middle. Perfect. Your recipes continue to make quarantine a more bearable experience. Thank you, Sally!

    1. Hi Brittany, I’m so happy you have been baking so much and that you enjoyed this recipe!

  12. Kristna Evans says:

    Delicious! I only had half and half while sheltering-in-place, but still great (I don’t know enough about baking to know how it might be different with heavy cream). I wish I had added nuts! That would be great. And maybe upping the spice with more nutmeg (my favorite thing to up my recipes with!). I only made half the amount of glaze and still had a good bit left over. If I’d used it all I think it would coat the entire scones. As there’s still plenty of pumpkin in the can, I’m sure I’ll make these again soon!

  13. So easy & so good! Followed exactly. Except I browned the butter for the icing. The whole family loved them!

  14. Elena Jenner says:

    Moist and delicious. Don’t skip the icing!

  15. I needed a recipe to use up the last of some canned pumpkin that I opened last week. This worked beautifully. I did skip the icing and I didn’t miss it. I heartily approve of grating the frozen butter; the scones were flaky and flavorful. I also added raisins and didn’t have heavy cream so I just used whole milk. The results were terrific. I also eliminated a teaspoon of the spices. I know, I have difficulty following the rules, but the great thing is that with all these adjustments, I still had a delicious scone thanks to you!

  16. Can I substitute the brown sugar for maple syrup? Pumpkin scones are my favourite and I can’t wait to try this recipe!

    1. Hi Montana, you need a dry (solid) sugar for these scones. I do not recommend maple syrup.

  17. I love the less biscuity-ness of this scone! I doubled the recipe and it still came out great, baked both sheets at once for the full 25 minutes, came out perfect. I’ll try salted butter and buttermilk next time to see if I notice a difference. They are delicious as written.

    1. So happy you enjoyed these scones, Amanda!

  18. Hi Sally! I’m currently making these and I realize I forgot to blot the pumpkin before I added it to the mixture! Is there anything I can do/add to offset the moisture right now? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Nina! The scones may spread a bit more. You could try adding a little more flour (1-2 Tbsp) if you haven’t baked them already.

  19. Hi! Can I substitute heavy cream with whipping cream? I can’t find heavy cream…

    1. Sure can! Same amount.

  20. AMAZING it’s spring right now, not fall, but these are amazing. The glaze is so tasty too.

  21. I halved this recipe and made 8 mini scones, and they turned out good! This particular recipe did provide me with a more “cake-like” scone – not sure if that’s just the recipe or very well could have been something on my part. For next time, I would try to make them a bit more pumpkin-y or add some more flavor to it – but that’s personal preference! 🙂

  22. These are DELICIOUS! I would take these over scones I’ve had from a bakery! Question—Do baked scones freeze well or not so much?

    Thanks!

  23. What is the carb count and can I use almond flour

    1. I’m unsure of the nutritional info of this recipe, but there are many great online calculators like this one: https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp I haven’t tested this recipe with almond flour- if you do, let me know how it goes!

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